In a very short timespan, I’ve been handed two significant second chances. One each from the respective Apple Watch and vehicle damage gods.
Here’s the first body of writing you’ve ever seen that discusses both wearable technology and deer in Michigan.
I preordered the new Apple Watch Series 3 following its reveal by Apple last month and received it on launch day. The little thing is quite incredible — an opinion commonly held by those who upgraded from the OG Watch (Series 0) like myself.
— Aaron Durant (@AaronRDurant) September 24, 2017
But my purpose here is not to review my cool new toy. It’s to tell you of Second Chance No. 1.
After a few days of enjoying the Series 3, I entered a dark room with watchOS 4’s new flashlight feature enabled. Now in darkness with a bright watch, I noticed that light was escaping via a gap between the case and display glass. I never saw this on my Series 0 and it immediately worried me; I’ve been showering and doing dishes with this thing and a gap like this could be bad news, to say the least.
I was somewhat convinced that this was normal behavior for reasons of physics that I don’t understand and definitely can’t explain. Regardless, I started a chat with Apple Support just to see what would/could happen.
A very cool Apple employee on the other end checked her sources and reported back to me that my Watch definitely shouldn’t have light escaping through a visible gap. She suggested I make an appointment at my local Apple Store (as they always do) but I said I’d rather go in whenever I can/want. This is unimportant, though.
Recently, I finally made that trip to my favorite retail store and, long story short, had my Watch exchanged.
“But Aaron, where’s the second chance in this?”
After significantly banging up my Series 0 through a little over a year of use, I was determined to take extra careful care of the Series 3. It cost me a couple Benjamins so this goes without saying.
However, I fell asleep once wearing the new Watch and accomplished two things:
- I learned that my sleeping position of choice includes having my arms tucked under my chest as I lay on my front.
- I scratched the Watch pretty badly.
I was furious. I had been so careful to not damage the device but still managed to garner roughly 2.5 scratches of the unfortunately noticeable sort.
I knew I’d have to learn to live with the scratches. I didn’t know I’d be given a second chance to have a brand-new, scratch-free unit. I’m very grateful for this; please know that I’m not a punk kid1 who stormed into the Apple Store and demanded a new device. I took responsibility for the scratch and went to the Store mainly for the experience — would they turn me away or replace the device almost carelessly due to the gap? The latter turned out to be the case and I appreciate the experience and help more than the new Watch.
It’s worth noting that the same “gap” is here on my new Watch, too.
During my trip home from work late last night, I encountered a deer.
It’s hunting season here in Michigan2 so evidently deer are less interested in remaining in the woods.
This one was standing in the middle of the road as I traveled toward it at 50 mph. As I saw it and hit the brakes, it got spooked and moved a few strides toward the edge of the road, then dangerously hesitated, then lurched some more into my path. This was not good.
I braked and steered, doing the best I could to not damage my vehicle nor this creature. The climax occurred when I hit its rear leg(s). I knew that I had escaped extreme trouble, but I was super shaken up the rest of the way home. I started hearing every sound emitted by the car and was seeing dollar signs in my head — the first money I’d have to spend on car repair in my life.
I got home, climbed out of the car, flipped on my iPhone flashlight and inspected the front-right corner where the deer and Clifford the Little Red Car had met.
I could find no damage.
I went inside feeling absolutely elated to have literally no record of the incident on the car. I told my parents what had happened and they didn’t believe me. Evaluating the car once more with my mom, I ultimately found some damage — but it only strengthened my belief that I had gotten away super clean and was, proverbially speaking, scolded and told to be more careful next time.
The yellow reflector on this corner of the car was cracked, clearly from the foot-claw thing of a deer.
Not the bumper. Not anywhere that is painted in gorgeous red.
The tiny reflector.
I’m not sure I deserve this luck. Though, maybe that deer was just paying it forward. Perhaps future deer buddies of his are going to royally destroy my car. It’s exposed all day and all night, after all, parked in our yard and never safe from the elements.
My story is that I did an excellent job avoiding the deer and now know to pay even better attention. I’m sticking to it.